Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant

Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant

If you are trying to conceive and are looking for ways to optimize your lifestyle to increase fertility, it is important to know some foods that should be avoided when trying to conceive.

Read: 6 Benefits of Eggs Yolk for Pregnant Women

Foods to Avoid During a Pregnant Program

1. Soda and Other High-Sugar Foods

Soda and other high-sugar foods are at the top of the list of foods you should avoid when trying to conceive. In terms of fertility, sugar is very dangerous.

Sugar causes inflammation and glycation, which causes our organs to age faster (including reproductive organs) and destroy cells. Sugar is hidden in many foods that we eat regularly, from fruits and vegetables to baked goods and sauces.

These foods are also easy to find in sodas, energy drinks, and many sugary drinks that go down easily and quickly.

Research shows that sugary drinks, especially sodas and energy drinks, have an adverse effect on the fertility of men and women. A study of women and their male partners who consumed at least seven sugary drinks per week had a harder time getting pregnant than their counterparts who did not consume sugary drinks.

Sugary drinks can adversely affect the quality of eggs. Another study of women undergoing IVF found that consuming higher amounts of sugary drinks was associated with 1.1 fewer total oocytes taken, 1.2 fewer mature oocytes taken, 0.6 fewer fertilized oocytes, and 0.6 fewer high-quality embryos than women who did not consume sugary soda.

This IVF study compared women who drank sugary soda with women who didn't and found women who drank between 0.1 and a cup of soda per day had 12% fewer live births; women who drank more than a cup of soda per day had 16% fewer live births.

Amount of Soda Consumed

.1-1 Cup Soda

1+ Soda Cups

Decrease in Direct Birth Rate of Those Who Consume 0 Cups of Soda Per Day

12% Decrease

16% Decrease

This same study concluded that sugar drinks have a greater impact on fertility than caffeinated beverages. Other studies have supported the greater effect of sugar than caffeine on decreased fertility, suggesting soda increases the length of time it takes to conceive and the sugar's association with ovulation disorders.

Drinks with added sugar, such as soda, lemonade, as well as sports and energy drinks are foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant. They provide almost no other nutrients and a lot of calories – almost all of them from added sugars.

2. High Carb Foods: Pasta, Grains, Bread, Baked Goods, Potatoes, etc.

Carbs are second on the list of top foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant. Any food that is not proteins or fats is carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates keep us whole, but every carbohydrate we eat is broken down into sugars. These include both simple and complex carbohydrates. In addition, when we eat carbohydrates, they cause a spike in blood sugar, which can cause inflammation, affect hormonal balance, inhibit ovulation, and have been shown to have an overall detrimental effect on fertility, especially when paired with a low-fiber diet.

The Value of Carbohydrates from Common Foods




Carbohydrates (in grams)

Plain bagel




White bread

1 piece



Corn cereals

1 cup



wheat cereals

1 cup



Graham crackers








Pasta (spaghetti)

1 cup



Brown rice

1 cup



White rice

1 cup



Red beans

1 cup



Lima beans

1 cup



Garbanzo beans

1 cup




1 cup



green beans

1 cup




1 cup



Green Beetroot

1 cup



Cabbage (cooked)

1 cup



Carrots (cooked)

1 cup



Carrots (raw)

1 cup



A type of mustard greens

1 cup




1 cup




1 cup








1 cup



Green peppers

1 cup



Potatoes (baked)









1 cup



Sweet potato

1 cup








1 cup



Apples (medium size)













1 cup




1 teaspoon.




1 ounce.



Milk – 2%

1 cup



Yogurt – plain, low fat

8 ounces.



3. Low Fat Milk

Research shows that men and women have very different responses to dairy products regarding their effect on fertility. While low-fat dairy products (or no dairy products at all) may be fine for male fertility, in women, low-fat dairy products have been shown to be foods that cause infertility.

When fat is removed from dairy products, male hormones called androgens are left behind. In women, these androgens disrupt the menstrual cycle and put them at risk of PCOS and infertility.

One study concluded that high-fat dairy products such as whole milk showed a reduced risk of infertility due to lack of ovulation. In contrast, low-fat dairy products are associated with an increased risk in women.

A similar study also concluded that women with a high intake of low-fat dairy foods may be at an increased risk of anovulatory infertility, whereas consuming high-fat dairy foods may lower this risk.

This study of 18,555 women trying to conceive found that those who ate full-fat dairy foods at least once a day had a 25% lower risk of fertility from ovulation disorders than women who ate these foods less frequently.

And women who ate two or more servings of low-fat milk per day were 85% more likely to experience infertility due to anovulation than those who ate low-fat milk only once a week.

Women Who Eat 1 Full Fat Milk Per Day

Women Who Eat 2 Low-Fat Milk Per Day

25% lower risk of ovulation disorders

85% more likely to have ovulatory infertility

For women who want to maximize their fertility and reproductive health, low-fat dairy foods should be avoided when trying to conceive. Full-fat milk is a better option.

4. Trans Fats

Any foods that contain trans fats should be avoided when trying to get pregnant or for anyone trying to maximize their health and fitness.

Trans fats (short for trans fatty acids) are fats produced mainly those made in industrial processes that combine hydrogen with liquid vegetable oils to make them denser. They appear on ingredient labels as partially hydrogenated oils.

Trans fats are often used for frying and are found in fried foods such as donuts, pastries, cakes, pastries, margarine, and butter. They are cheap and add a lot of flavor to a variety of foods but do not increase your health or chances of getting pregnant.

Trans fats can damage anyone, causing inflammation and insulin resistance, but are particularly bad for men and women trying to conceive. Sperm health is affected in men and in women, every 2% increase in energy consumption of trans fats (equivalent to 1 tbsp of margarine) increases the risk of anovulation by 73%!

The consumption of trans fats was found to have an inverse relationship with sperm count, in which the total sperm count decreased along with an increase in trans fat intake, ranging from 144 in the lowest consumption group to 89 in the highest trans fat consumption group.

For your best fertility, any foods that contain trans fats are best avoided when trying to get pregnant. Saturated fats, preferably from animal sources, are a much better option, along with avocado or coconut oil.

5. Processed Meats

Like trans fats, processed meats such as sausages, bacon, and hot dogs have been related to decreased fertility in both men and women and are foods that you should avoid when trying to conceive. Processed meats may be high in trans fats, which are associated with lower fertility, and often contain preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites.

In a recent Harvard study, researchers found that frequent consumption of processed meat can compromise a man's ability to fertilize eggs, but eating more poultry can increase his chances.

Men who ate less than 1.5 servings of processed meat per week had a 28% better chance of getting pregnant than men who ate 4.3 servings per week.

Another study found that men who consumed large amounts of processed meat had lower sperm quality, quantity, and motility than men who consumed fish.

The men in this study who consumed the highest amounts of processed meat had an average of 1.7 units of morphologically less normal sperm percentage than the men with the lowest consumption of processed meat in the study.

As with most things in our diet, food in its natural form (for example, unprocessed) is generally a healthier option.

6. Excessive Caffeine

Wondering if caffeine is a food to avoid when you're trying to get pregnant? Could it be that the morning cup of coffee ruined your chances of getting pregnant? Probably not if you won't come back for refills 4-5 times throughout the day.

Based on a review of the study, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine argues that "moderate caffeine consumption (1 to 2 cups of coffee per day or equivalent) before or during pregnancy has no noticeable adverse effect on fertility or pregnancy outcomes. In men, caffeine consumption does not affect the parameters of semen."

However, if your caffeine consumption is at a higher end, more than 5 cups a day, this level of consumption has been linked to a decrease in fertility, and it can take about 11% longer to conceive and can make pregnant women with a higher risk for miscarriage.

5. Processed foods

almost do not resemble anything grown or grazed on the farm and are foods that should be avoided when trying to conceive. Processed foods tend to have a long list of ingredients, many of which are unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce. They are foods that should be avoided when trying to conceive. These are boxes and food bags lining the inner shelves of your local grocery store. They are fast, "instant," tasty, and very delicate and processed.

These industrially processed foods are full of chemicals, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and more than a few of the six thousand other chemicals that the FDA says are allowed to be incorporated into our diets.

With 75% of the world's food sales consisting of industrially processed products [27] , there is a significant impact on the health and fertility of men and women everywhere.

Characteristics of Unprocessed Foods vs. Processed Foods


Ultra-Processed Foods

Unprocessed foods


Partially or completely deleted


Salt (sodium)

High in added salts, increases palatability, but reduces the ratio of sodium to potassium

Natural low sodium


Low potassium

Vegetables and fruits are naturally high in potassium. A high ratio of potassium to sodium is beneficial for blood pressure

Color &Taste

Synthetic – has no nutritional value and can be destructive

Signifying polyphenols, natural antioxidants, good for the microbiome

Sugar Free

Contains concentrated calories but contains no nutrients; added to many processed foods to improve palatability

Rarely occurs naturally in whole foods

Effects on the Microbiome

Microbiome starvation; provides few accessible microbial carbohydrates (MAC) unless added to food

Most plant foods naturally contain many types of MAC

Added Emulsifier

It is usually added; has an adverse effect on intestinal epithelial cells and the microbiome that causes inflammation

Those that occur in whole foods do not have a negative effect on the intestines (that is, yolk)

Vitamins & Minerals

Many were deleted; can add back a single form of isolated synthetic vitamins or minerals

Complex arrangement of vitamins & minerals in various natural forms

Moisture content

There is almost no water; making it energy dense per volume. Less filling, less volume

Most whole foods have a water content, giving them more volume

Calories per volume

Highly concentrated energy; after the fiber and water are removed. Filling a very small volume of the stomach for the calories contained; do not activate stretching receptors until excess is eaten (that is, feel full more slowly)

Less concentrated; almost all whole foods contain a lot of water and plant foods contain fiber. Fills a larger volume of the stomach, activates stretch receptors with fewer calories than processed foods (that is, feeling full faster)

Highly insulated materials

Almost pure fat or oil, pure starch and sugar

Food in whole form has fiber, nutrients, water, and a mixture of micronutrients


An unnatural combination of sugar, fat and starch, which results in a very tasty meal. Also adding flavors, flavor enhancers, salt, and cooking methods make the final product very useful and prone to overeating

Refined starch, sugar, and fat do not occur naturally together in nature


Chemical preservatives that may have adverse side effects for some people

Food will spoil if it is not preserved. Natural preservation methods, such as fermentation, have positive health benefits

Protein Content

Foods consisting of processed foods do not contain protein, which is a problem for the regulation of appetite

High-carb plant foods contain some protein; mixed foods always contain protein if a protein source is added

Omega-6 for Omega-3 Hazards

Fat high omega 6, excess pro-inflammatory, low omega 3

Low omega-6, higher om

Processed snacks have been linked to poor sperm concentrations, morphology, and motility, which interfere with fertility. In women, higher fast food intake in the preconception period is associated with a longer gestational time (TTP) and may put women at risk of ovulatory infertility.

Our bodies do not recognize many of these chemicals and launch a response to invaders. They cause inflammation and mutations in our cells. Industrially processed foods have been linked to cancer, immune system disorders, reproductive mutations, mental and memory decline, and a number of other health diseases.

Choose as much natural food as possible. Processed foods are foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant, but if you have to eat processed foods, look for a shorter list of ingredients and ingredients that you recognize. With only a few ingredients, there is a small probability of becoming a harmful additive and preservative.

6. Soy-Based Foods

Completing the list of foods that you should when trying to get pregnant is anything made with soy. Soy is a common protein substitute, especially for vegetarians or vegans, and is found in a variety of foods such as tofu, tempeh, different soy milk, and flours. There are conflicting studies on the impact of soy on male and female fertility.

The concern stems from the fact that phytoestrogens (the plant form of estrogen) are naturally found in soy and are similar to the female hormone estrogen.

Some scientists believe that additional estrogen activity can create estrogen-progesterone imbalances that can interfere with endocrine function, egg production, and ovulation and soy can lower sperm count in men.

The conclusions of this study have been challenged. Another study of women undergoing IVF who ate soy experienced favorable results.